Has Bret Hart Earned the Right to Criticize Triple H?

Tom ClarkFeatured ColumnistFebruary 4, 2013

photo by wwe.com
photo by wwe.com

Bret Hart has recently made some very controversial statements in regards to WWE’s chief operating officer, the man known as The Game, Triple H.  Of course, unless you live under a rock, you are well aware of this and have no doubt formed an opinion on whether or not you agree with Hart’s statements.

For me, however, this is less about what he said and more about his right to say it.

Like many fans, I was very surprised when news of the Hart interview surfaced online this past weekend.  But, the headline does not always paint the best picture of an event, especially in the business, so I reserved passing judgment until I actually watched it.

Wow—in this case, the headline did not say enough.

Hart’s assertion that Triple H was not a great wrestler was the first nugget that gave me pause.  To be honest, through all the years that Hunter has been in the industry, I do not personally recall Hart criticizing his ability in the ring.  

That was a new one for me.

Then, Hart went on to say that The Game’s WrestleMania 28 match with Undertaker was not the masterpiece that many fans believed it to be, a claim that really set me back for a moment.  

The first question that immediately hit me was “did I miss something?”  Did Hunter and Hart have some recent heat that perhaps fans are not privy to, a backstage incident or altercation that somehow did not make press after the fact?

Where did all this come from?

As I attempted to process it all, I decided to go about my day and perhaps just come back to it at another time.  Life goes on, right?

But then the second interview hit.  In this one, Hart says that Triple H is not only not a great wrestler, he is not even in the top 1000 of all time.


As pro wrestling fans ran to their laptops and furiously banged out either their complete disgust over Hart’s words, or perhaps their full agreement, I chose to once again sit back and process it all.

Well, I’m done now.  

I have to say that before choosing a side, fans need to stop and realize that while our opinions are valued and have merit, these interviews were not granted by just an ordinary fan.  These opinions belong to a man who is considered to be one of the true legends in WWE.

Hart is not just some talent.  At one time, he was the talent.  Given an opportunity outside of his tag team with Jim Neidhart in The Hart Foundation, Hart went on to become WWE Champion and represented the next generation of Superstars in the company.

His rivalry with Shawn Michaels and Stone Cold Steve Austin produced some of the best matches that fans had ever seen and are just two examples of the impressive body of work that The Hitman turned in during his career.

He was not just some talent who was given a shot and washed out.  He was a headliner who has performed in front of sold out arenas in countries all over the world.

I believe he has earned the right to speak.

But understand, I am not suggesting that he’s right in what he says.  I personally believe that Triple H has also amassed an impressive resume in Vince McMahon’s company. 

I do not believe that this is all a work, planting the seeds for Hart to referee a WrestleMania match between Triple H and Brock Lesnar.  While anything is possible, I don’t know if WWE would want to advertise Hart’s criticisms about Hunter to the world.  

Triple H needs to be seen as a very strong baby face, a guy who would be fighting for his father-in-law and by all rights, his family, if he faces Lesnar at Mania.  To present Hart’s opinions and rehash the infamous Montreal screw job is surely not something that is on WWE’s agenda.

Make no mistake, that would definitely happen.

According to Shawn Michaels’ DVD, it was Triple H, by his own admission, who was the first man to suggest that something be done that night to change the finish between Hart and The Heartbreak Kid.

I have a hard time believing that Hart, though he publicly shakes Michael’s hand and has evidently made peace with what happened then, does not still bear the scars of the incident that forever changed his career.  Truth be told, if he would still be harboring a grudge against someone, how could it not be Triple H?

While this all sounds very intriguing and I do believe there is some truth to it, the simpler reason for Hart’s curious comments regarding Hunter is one that is right in front of us.

It’s just what the guy thinks.

Hart was asked a question, thought about it for a second, then answered honestly. That’s it—some fans may not like his answer.  

We may wonder why he went on in a second interview to continue criticizing Triple H, when he could have just dismissed the question and moved on.

We may also be asking if this will affect any future business that WWE will do with The Hitman, or if they would even want to at this point.

Still, it’s one WWE Hall of Famer giving his take on a future WWE Hall of Famer. They come from the same industry, on the same level in the same company and when guys like this start talking, all we can do is just sit back and soak it all in.